More Regarding the Last Post

The last post mentioned Ephraim Witcher and his wife Elizabeth (Phipps) Witcher in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, with Ephraim apparently being the son of a William Witcher with land on the Pigg River. Here is some more information from various sources. Some of it is unconfirmed.

A web page titled “Ephraim Witcher b. unknown and Wife Elizabeth Phipps (Fips) b. unknown” refers to a belief that the two married in 1776 when he was age 27. The page notes that this is unconfirmed.

The page also notes a 1779 record from Pittsylvania County, Virginia in which Ephraim and Betsy Witcher brought a suit against John Fips. Because Betsy was a common nickname for Elizabeth in those days, this was presumably Elizabeth (Phipps) Witcher.

The page also notes that Pittsylvania County was created in 1767 from Halifax County. Again, as noted earlier, James Phipps had land on a branch of the Pigg River surveyed in 1753. That land later was described as being in Henry County but formerly Halifax County, while another record refers to this James as being of Brunswick County, Virginia.

The same page also refers to Ephraim Witcher’s move to Surry County, North Carolina. The suggestion is made that Ephraim and Elizabeth (Phipps) Witcher probably moved to North Carolina in 1793.

Interestingly, the page then refers to Steven Potter. Evidently they served together in the War of 1812. Note that the last post referred to Benjamin Potter of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, with land on the Pigg River. As noted earlier, Benjamin Potter is said to have moved from Pittsylvania County into Surry County, North Carolina sometime before 1806.

Stephen Potter was executor of Ephraim Witcher’s 1819 Surry County will. Benjamin Potter was a witness. One thing that somehow was left out of the last post was that one of the sons of Littleberry Phipps is said to have been Benjamin Potter Phipps. (Another was John Witcher Phipps.) Another factor that was inadvertently omitted in the last post was that Stephen Potter married Martha Phipps. The suggestion is made that John Witcher Phipps “probably followed” Martha (Phipps) Potter; presumably this is referring to the move to Lawrence County, Indiana. The same source who makes this claim also says that Littleberry appeared in the 1820 census in Surry County, North Carolina with George Fipps and James Fipps.

A much earlier post in this blog referred to Stephen and Martha (Phipps) Potter, with Martha’s son Gideon Potter having written an autobiography. (The link to information on the autobiography appears to be no longer functional, but the article seems to have been moved to here.) In that account, Gideon Potter supposedly refers to his mother as having been of Welsh descent.

The earlier post refers to a published (1915) claim that the immigrant ancestor in the Samuel Phipps of Ashe County line came from Wales. Someone in an online forum was looking for a copy of the Gideon Potter manuscript as far back as 2001. A prior comment in this blog seems to connect Littleberry Phipps’s grave in Lawrence County, Indiana with the graves there of Stephen and Martha (Phipps) Phipps, as well as perhaps a James Phipps born about 1753 (?).

A web page that appears to perhaps contain the text of the Gideon Potter manuscript is here, but only yields an error message on the Mac. That message reads, “The server requested authentication method unknown to the client.” The Google search hit excerpt reads “My mother’s name was Martha Phipps, and was of Welsh descent. She joined the Baptist [sic] when I was about four years old, and was baptized by elder Abraham . . . . ”

If someone can open this file or can provide a copy by other means, please do so. The article about the Gideon Potter manuscript, as mentioned above, does not provide a copy of the text. The manuscript did provide the blogger with “more names and more clues,” however, and as a result, that individual decided to make a research trip to the New River area around Grayson County, Virginia and Surry County, North Carolina.

That article has the Phipps and Potter families in Grayson County, Virginia in the 1790s, and in Surry County, North Carolina by 1810. Apparently from there they emigrated to Lawrence County, Indiana. This corroborates what other unconfirmed secondary sources have claimed.

If all of this is authentic, then it seems to probably connect, by association, a Phipps family in the Ashe/Grayson area with the Pigg River in Virginia and, earlier, with Brunswick County, Virginia.



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